MALAYSIA has developed a taste for Western Australian avocados.
Starting in December last year, Southern Forests Food Council supply partner, Mercer Mooney sent more than 20 tonnes of produce to Malaysia, with much greater quantities expected to be shipped in the future.
One of Australia's largest fresh produce distributors, Mercer Mooney has more than 100 years' experience and an extensive international network.
Mercer Mooney export manager, Ethan Lulham, said the customer in Malaysia indicated it could have easily have taken six to eight times more than what was being supplied on a weekly basis.
"However, through our communications, they now understand the long term plan, and are aware of the rapid growth that awaits the Australian avocado industry," Mr Lulham said.
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"They have expressed their excitement of purchasing more Western Australian Hass avocados in the coming seasons."
Prior to meeting with Mercer Mooney and the Southern Forests Food Council at Asia Fruit Logistica, the Malaysian customer had been purchasing all of its avocados from Mexico.
Mr Lulham said this immediately made the job difficult given the difference in landed price quotations.
"From the first consignment they rapidly increased their order to the point where we almost immediately couldn't keep up," he said.
"I have had many messages from the customer's head buyer, thanking me for providing them with a premium product that sells itself."
The WA avocado season basically wound up last month but the Southern Forests Food Council continues to work towards creating opportunities for its local producers.
Southern Forests Food Council general manager, Stephen Sharpe, said the organisation has formed some strong trade links.
"The Food Council has developed extensive supply networks including wholesale market floors in WA, NSW and Victoria, a WA partner for the food service industry, access to regional WA retail outlets, and a partner focused on export supply opportunities," Mr Sharpe said.
"Our region has some of the most premium foods in the world and we are confident that export, as well as domestic sales, will continue to grow into the future."